Four people killed as fire rages through electric-bicycle store in Beijing

12 engines, three squadrons of firefighters tackle blaze in early hours of Sunday morning in city’s Haidan district, cause of which as yet unknown

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 01 April, 2018, 2:53pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 01 April, 2018, 4:09pm

Four people were killed when a fire broke out on Sunday at an electric-bicycle shop in Beijing.

Investigators said the blaze, in the city’s Haidian district, started at 1.23am and had been brought under control by 1.58am. It affected an area of about 50 square metres, although the cause is as yet unknown.

Three fire crews and 12 engines were dispatched to the scene, the fire service said in a statement on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like service.

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The incident comes in the wake of a massive blaze at a residential building in Beijing’s southern Daxing district in November, which left 19 people dead and eight others injured.

The area was home to a community of migrant workers, as well as several clothing factories. The tragedy prompted citywide evictions of migrant workers, while scores of unlicensed and unsafe buildings were cleared and demolished.

Rights groups and Chinese internet users criticised the move, which left thousands of poor families without anywhere to live and did little to tackle the roots of the city’s fire safety issues.